Thousands of people are injured each year around the country in the more than 3,000 train accidents that occur. Around 1,000 people lose their lives in these horrific train accidents. Even in less serious or even minor train accidents, catastrophic injuries are not uncommon, since the sheer size and massive weight of locomotives and railway cars virtually guarantees maximum damage to anything with which they collide. Most train accident claims are complex and involve more than one responsible party, which means that contacting a Morgantown train accident attorney is a smart move for the train accident victim.
The same laws and standards that govern accidents among passenger vehicles do not apply to train accidents, which makes any litigation involving this type of accident difficult. Because of this, going with an attorney who has handled train accident cases in the past gives you an edge over the big insurance companies and their lawyers who represent large railway operations.
There are two main types of train accidents that are common in the United States: railroad crossing accidents and derailments. Accidents at railroad crossings may involve passenger vehicles or even pedestrians on foot being run over by trains. When these accidents occur, a common cause is a defective signal or malfunction in the gates that prevent vehicles from driving over tracks when a train is near the crossing. Trains failing to use their horns or lights on approach of a crossing can also contribute to accidents at crossings, as can objects that are protruding from the cars of the train. In addition, trains that park too closely to a railroad crossing or crossings that are visually obstructed by objects or vegetation may also play a role in these accidents.
Train derailments can be quite devastating in the amount of widespread destruction and damage they cause. Derailments are when a train loses contact with the tracks, usually violently so. The most often-cited cause of train derailments falls back to train operators failing to follow the safety standards that are established by the government. However, some derailments result from obstacles on the railroad tracks, faulty tracks or equipment, or overloaded cargo containers. When a derailed train is a passenger train, lives lost can be immense, and injured parties can be quite significant.
Potential accident victims in train accidents include operators of the train, railroad workers, drivers and occupants of vehicles on roadways near the tracks or at railroad crossings, and passengers on the train. Pedestrians and bystanders can also be involved. Train accidents usually involve more than one victim, and in some instances, if a toxic spill from the train occurs, then the whole surrounding community may be affected.
If you or someone you love has been through a train accident, or if you lost a loved one to a train accident, you need to speak with the legal team at Shenderovich, Shenderovich, and Fishman right away. Our Morgantown train accident attorney can review the details of your case, identify at-fault parties, and get the ball rolling on compensation for your injuries. Schedule your no-cost consultation today.